Many victims of emotional and psychological abuse experience fear and self-doubt when facing the decision to separate from or divorce the abuser. Here are three steps that you can take today as you work toward the peaceful life that you deserve.
Step One: Work Toward Emotional Safety by Seeking Support
Emotional and psychologically abusive men use many tactics to isolate victims from family, friends, and other supportive people. If you are a victim of psychological and emotional abuse, you may have experienced isolation in the form of:
- Moving to a rural area, or an area far from people you are close to and would normally seek support from.
- Your husband/partner acting jealous or sulky when you express the desire to spend time with anyone other than him.
- Not being “allowed” to have or use a phone or car.
- The abuser creating chaos in your relationships with family/friends so that you feel like you have no one.
- The abuser belittling you so that you believe that you don’t have anyone to lean on.
There are many ways, including many not listed here, that abusers isolate victims.
When You Seek Support, You’re On the Path to Safety
Every time you reach out for support – whether it’s by talking to a friend, attend a BTR.ORG Group Session, visiting your local domestic abuse shelter, or contacting a helpline, you are working toward safety.
Abuse thrives in isolation – and you have the power to break that isolation one safe conversation at a time.
Step Two: Learn About Abuse & Trauma
At BTR.ORG, we believe that as women become educated about abuse and trauma, they become empowered on their journeys to safety. The more you learn about abuse, the more easily you can understand and identify what is happening to you. Visit our Books Page to see our recommended reading.
Step Three: Are You Ready to Practice Radical Self-Care?
As your attention shifts from the abuser and his ever-changing moods to your own wants and needs, you may find yourself experiencing higher levels of safety, confidence, and empowerment.
Radical self-care can include:
- Prioritizing sleep over “conversations” with the abuser.
- Living in another home, bedroom, or floor of the house than the abuser until you are able to live somewhere else.
- Scheduling needed doctor’s appointments.
- Working toward staying hydrated.
BTR.ORG Is Here For You
At BTR.ORG, we know that one of the most difficult times for many women is that period of time when they’ve identified that they are in an abusive relationship, but feel emotionally unable to leave. Please know that this is a safe space for you.